After a performing career spanning more than six decades, Ralph Stanley is packing up his banjo. The pioneering bluegrass musician has announced that he will embark on a farewell tour that will conclude in December of 2014.

According to, the kickoff date of the tour on Oct. 18 in Rocky Mount, N.C. will mark the 67th anniversary of Stanley's career as a performer. In that time he has become one of the most celebrated singers and instrumentalists in bluegrass, recognized for his unique vocal and banjo styles.

Stanley began his career in 1946, playing with his older brother Carter in the Stanley Brothers. Following Carter's death in 1966, Ralph launched a solo career. He was awarded an honorary doctorate of music degree from Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tenn., in 1976.

In 2000 he won a Grammy for Best Male Country Vocal Performance for his recording of 'O Death' in the film 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?'  Stanley has been a member of the International Bluegrass Music Association's Hall of Fame since 1992.

His final tour is being billed as Man of Constant Sorrow Tour: The Dr.'s Farewell. He will be backed on the road by his longtime band, the Clinch Mountain Boys. The tour will take in more than 80 shows at festivals, folk venues and performing arts centers. Keep up with his tour schedule here.

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